Another great Green Café. With around 20 people, we almost didn’t hear from everyone! With big thanks to Tina, who provided a touch of expertise, but also thanks to everyone who came along and shared what works for them.
It seems where waste is concerned there is no magic. The usual three rules apply:
REDUCE the amount of waste you create as much as possible. Composting seemed very popular and I’ll put a seperate set of hints and tips for that here on the site. For now, take a look at this link in English. For those of you in apartments, think about a communal composter. They shouldn’t smell and really cut down on the waste you throw out.
Some suggested the use of those plastic balls that go in your washing machine instead of washing powder or liquid. Of the few people that had tried these – it seemed about 50/50 whether these were good or not. Everyone seemed to think they got clothes clean, with one saying it was damaging for fragile clothes, and another saying they needed to add perfume to the wash or clothes didn’t smell of anything and they didn’t like that.
Another great tip was to cut the end off of the toothpaste, hand or face cream tubes – you can usually get another week of use out of it, creating less waste and saving money! It turned out everyone already does that 🙂
RE-USE things as much as possible.
Phillipe started a discussion about re-use. Lots of dicussion about re-use, with direct re-use suggesting “Vide Greniers” as a great way to get rid of, or of course, find things, that can then be used by someone else. Then came a whole host of web sites, from Freecycle, to ebay via craigslist, anibis, paru-vendu, zannonces and ricardo – not forgetting the free ads that can be placed in almost every local supermarket.
Agnès wanted to know if anyone knew where we could get ink cartridges refilled? Anyone?
I checked with the guys at LJC Multimedia and they suggest using generic cartridges instead of refilling, as in their experience there is a good chance of destroying the printer – which doesn’t save money or the environment!
We had a lot of discussion about recyling, with everybody having different ways to collect the recycling before taking it to the recycle bins. One lucky person had recycling bins next to her rubbish bin!
REPAIR – the 4th rule of 3
Philippe wanted us to remember that even today many things can be repaired, from your home appliances which can be fixed with spares from a number of web sites – search for “pieces detachées” on google (I’ve used 1001piles for portable devices needing new batteries) – right down to a dead iPod which can usually be fixed at the Podspital near Plainpalais in Geneva. For computer repairs, try LJC Multimedia on the Grand Rue here in Ferney-Voltaire.